Blues Acquire Nick Leddy from Red Wings

The Hockey Writers

The St. Louis Blues acquired defenseman Nick Leddy, as well as Luke Witkowski, from the Detroit Red Wings ahead of the 2022 Trade Deadline. In return, the Red Wings received forward Oskar Sundqvist, defenseman Jake Walman and a 2023 second round pick.

UPDATE: The Detroit #RedWings today acquired defenseman Jake Walman, center Oskar Sundqvist, and a 2nd round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for defensemen Nick Leddy and Luke Witkowski.

The 31-year-old defenseman arrives in St. Louis after he was acquired by the Red Wings from the New York Islanders prior to the Seattle Expansion Draft. Detroit sent the 52nd pick of the 2021 draft as well as forward Richard Panik to the Islanders in exchange for Leddy. Through 55 games with the Red Wings this season, he has 16 while averaging over 21 minutes of ice time per game.

Related: 2022 NHL Trade Deadline: Deal Tracker

Prior to being acquired by the Red Wings, Leddy spent the previous seven seasons with the Islanders, where he was a part of both of their trips to the Eastern Conference Final in 2020 and 2021. He was originally drafted 16th overall in the 2009 draft by the Minnesota Wild, but began his career with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2010-11 season. He was a part of the Blackhawks’ 2013 Stanley Cup championship before being sent to the Islanders.

In 831 career regular season games, he has 352 points; in 121 career playoff games, he has seven goals and 33 points.

What Leddy Brings to the Blues

With a championship ring on his finger and a wealth of experience at the NHL level, Leddy is a solid veteran contributor that is still just barely into his 30’s. The Red Wings recognized this when they acquired him, bringing him in not only to bolster their defensive depth, but also so that he could provide veteran mentorship to their younger defensemen. While his stats suffered this season while playing with a porous defensive team, he still displayed an ability to contribute on special teams and be a guy his team can lean on in tough situations. Now that he’s on his way to St. Louis, he should find himself in a more favorable situation as he’ll likely play lower on the depth chart than he was in Detroit.

Nick Leddy Detroit Red Wings
Nick Leddy, Detroit Red Wings (Photo by Scott W. Grau/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The move fortifies the Blues’ defensive group as Walman was never able to lock down a spot on the blue line. Sundqvist, who has spent the last four and a half seasons with the Blues, was a bottom six forward for the team and was likely included to help balance out the salaries exchanged in this deal. Leddy can play anywhere in the Blues’ defense, and that versatility should help them as they make a push for the playoffs in the Central Division.

What the Deal Does for the Red Wings

This deal gives the Red Wings two second round picks in the 2023 draft, continuing general manager Steve Yzerman’s trend of stocking up on second round picks at the trade deadline. As for the players acquired, Sundqvist gives the Red Wings a bottom six forward with one more year on his deal that carries a $2.75 million cap hit. Whether that second year takes place in Detroit is another topic, but he can fill a role for Detroit in the meantime.

As for Walman, the 26-year-old has only seen action in 57 NHL games to this point in his career. Drafted 82nd overall in the 2014 draft, he has been buried by the depth on the Blues’ blue line over the past few seasons. With the Red Wings looking thin on the left side of their blue line heading into the offseason, this move gives him a 20 game audition to earn a spot with the Red Wings long-term. He is a restricted free agent at the end of this season.

Stay tuned to The Hockey Writers as more deals are announced.

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